Tag: Advice from Members AutoChoice

Posts related to Advice from Members AutoChoice

There are literally hundreds of different choices of vehicles on the road today. Colors, options, brands, and price all influence our buying decision, but how do you know you’re making the right choice? Let’s take a look at the most important deciding factors.

Price – No surprise here, but price is the most important factor in the car buying decision. How much can you afford per month? Luxury brands like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and BMW carry much higher sticker prices than their non-luxury counterparts, although they often have very similar features.

Cost of Ownership – How much is this vehicle actually going to cost you to own? This is where things like fuel cost, insurance costs, repair costs, and maintenance all enter the equation. Once again, luxury brands are going to be more expensive in every aspect. A headlight replacement on a Ford Fusion is about $240. The same repair on a BMW 335i? $880.

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No matter what type of car you own, from Ferrari’s to Hyundai’s, there are a boatload of expenses that come along with them. You have vehicle payments, insurance payments, maintenance, repairs, and more. Most of them are inevitable – you can’t (legally) own and drive a vehicle without paying for it. The worst part? Even though you are constantly putting money into it, the vehicles value will continue to drop due to mileage, age, and newer and better cars being released. This is a pretty negative way of looking at things, but it’s not all bad! Let’s take a look at some easy, inexpensive ways to maintain (or even increase) your car’s value.

Prevent, Prevent, Prevent! The cheapest problem to fix is the problem that never happens. There is always something you can do to prevent most problems from occurring:

  • Buy floor mats to replace the factory ones, and put the originals in storage. [...]

With the cold weather upon us, many of our consumers are asking questions about winterizing their vehicles. The most common question of all is whether or not to let a vehicle sit and warm up on cold mornings. If you research the topic, you will find many conflicting answers. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, and decide whether or not it’s worth it.

When the temperature drops and your vehicle has been sitting in the cold overnight, a lot of the oil that is supposed to coat your engine parts settles to the bottom of your oil pan. The cold temperature impedes its flow, which means it takes longer to reach the places it needs to be. Five minutes to warm up in the morning can remedy this, and have your engine back on track. Newer model vehicles are less prone to this problem, but slower driving is recommended for the first [...]

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers that you will come across in your lifetime. Unless you have a lot of extra cash lying around, any big purchase you make is made through credit. Your house, your car, and any type of loan will factor your credit score to determine your price. The most important part – a poor credit score means you will pay more for whatever the purchase is. Let’s look at what exactly your credit score is telling you and what you can do to boost it up.

In its simplest form, a credit score is basically your report card. It tracks all money and services loaned to you: car payments, credit cards, utility bills, etc. If you are paying everything on time consistently, you probably have a pretty good score. If you are missing payments or are late on them, your score will reflect that.

While your score [...]

“Excuse the mess!” and “I’m sorry, I meant to clean it up a bit,” are the two most common things sales professionals hear when customers have their potential trade-ins evaluated. Navigating through water bottles, clothes, and other unnecessary junk becomes second nature, for both us and the car owners themselves. There is no problem in having a cluttered car, but if disaster strikes, do you have what you need in your vehicle? It may be time to toss out the three month old bottle of coke under your seat and make room for some of these necessary items.

Glove Compartment:

  • Seatbelt Cutter/Window Breaker– These are fairly cheap (running $5 to $25) and the benefits are self-explanatory.
  • Pen & Paper –Even in today’s world, there is always a place for a pen and paper. Whether it’s for jotting down quick directions, taking insurance information, or even writing a phone number down, it’s great to have [...]

Navigating the automotive industry can be a daunting task. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of vehicles around you, there are hundreds of places that all claim to have the best deal. There are countless ways to own a vehicle, many ways to pay for said vehicle, and many things offered your way to “sweeten up the deal.” With all these different variables going in to your car buying experience, there’s quite a lot of room for things to go wrong. What do you do when you’ve found yourself on the wrong end of a bad deal? Let’s look at some of the most common “mistakes” buyers make, and what you should do to get out of them:

  • The Lease – Leash: Leased vehicles are a tricky topic. The vast majority of the time, consumers are better off buying their vehicles. While payments during a lease will be quite a bit lower, you [...]

Everything changes over time. Trends come and go, and at the end of the day only one thing holds true: prices go up. The burger you had for lunch would have cost you about 25 cents in 1965. The $2 gallon of gas that took you there would have only cost about 40 cents. That’s a HUGE increase in the cost of fuel compared to a relatively small increase in the cost of other things. So what is really behind the roller coaster of gas prices, and why do they never remain constant? There are quite a number of reasons, but there are 3 main factors:

  1. Summer Blend

In June of 2008, most people were hard-pressed to leave their home and drive. Gas prices were at a national average of $4 per gallon, and gas-guzzling vehicles didn’t see daylight most of the time. By November, however, the national average had dropped to [...]

When budgeting for a new vehicle there are many factors to consider.  After your mortgage or rent payments, your car loan or lease will probably be your next biggest expense item. To determine what car payment you can afford you should carefully calculate what you can afford and consider everything that goes into buying a new or used vehicle. Base your vehicle search on what payment you can afford and stick with it. Make two lists, one with your wants listed and one with your needs listed.

The annual cost to own a new or used vehicle includes more than just the monthly payment to your lender.  It is important to remember when purchasing a new or used car that the most lenders will require full-collision and comprehensive insurance coverage to protect them. Because most lenders require the full coverage buying a late model car or a new car, your monthly insurance payment may be [...]

Waxing or polishing your car is an important but often an overlooked step in auto maintenance.  Just like regular oil changes are necessary to protect the life of your car’s engine, regular waxing or polishing is necessary to protect the life of your car’s paint job.  Waxing your car or truck on a regular basis prevents the paint from losing its protective oils and helps protect the car’s exterior from normal wear and tear.

Wax vs. Polish
It is important not to confuse wax with polish. Wax is a smooth coating that protects the paint and fills in all the tiny holes in the paint in order to make the exterior shine. Polish is made with a mildly abrasive agent that actually removes a small layer of paint from the car when it is used. Polish should only be used when the paint color has become completely flat and never on a regular basis.

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Searching for a vehicle can be a daunting task. Many dealerships, and even car manufacturers, promise any car with any option for any price. Sadly, however, this is not the case. New cars are not specifically designed for each and every customer, but they are designed with the consumer market’s general needs in mind. That makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to meet everyone’s expectations. There is no “used-car factory,” but technology today allows us to add any options we want without needing to buy the EXACT vehicle we want, because that is a lot easier said than done.

Car shoppers are faced with hundreds of decisions – van, truck, SUV, sedan? Cloth or leather seats? Fuel economy or speed and power? Do I want this? Do I need that? The questions are endless, and there’s really no right or wrong answer to any of them. Aftermarket accessories have always been there to give [...]

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